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10 July
IX:23 - you pyanyadevataa bhaktaa yajante shraddhayaa nvitaah te pi maam eva kaunteya yajanty avidhipoorvakam
IX:24 - aham hi sarvayajnaanaam bhoktaa cha prabhureva cha na tu maam abhijaananti tattwenaa tash chyavanti te
IX:25 - yaanti devavrataa devaan pitreen yaanti pitrivrataah bhutaani yaanti bhutejyaa yaanti madyaajino pi maam
IX:23 - Even those devotees who, endowed with faith, worship other gods, worship me only, O Arjuna, but by the wrong method.
IX:24 - For I alone am the enjoyer and also the Lord of all sacrifices; but they do not know me in essence, and hence they return to this mortal world.
IX:25 - Those who worship the devas will take birth among the devas; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me.
At the outset a word of caution.
It is possible to see the 'me' and 'God' that occur in the Bhagavad Gl'ta- as implying the transcendental cosmic reality, the infinite which is manifest in infinite ways and whose nature is the entire manifest creation.
That is the correct principle, the right approach, the proper method.
Those who cannot rise immediately to this height in yoga sa-dhana (spiritual practice) are not forsaken.
They can approach God through any of the paths, modes or symbols, but they should never forget that the goal is the supreme being and not the path, mode or symbol chosen.
If this is remembered, the great indwelling presence in all will accept their worship and lead them to the correct method, through the spirit of enquiry.
It is on account of ignorance or misunderstanding that the frail human heart accepts the symbol as the truth, the part as the whole, the aspect as the reality.
When this happens, the soul reaches union with those objects of adoration.
Though it has lost a golden opportunity of direct self-realisation, it will return here to make further progress.
Thus, whatever path or symbol is chosen for worship there should be an awareness that the symbol is worshipped 'as God' in the sense that what is actually worshipped is the infinite, not-so-obvious reality in the universe.
What is obvious is a mental creation.
From that, investigation into the nature of God begins, and then the answer arises - Godrealisation happens.
When this happens, the questioner is absent.
Swami Sivananda has a beautiful poem which says: "Ignorance knocked, wisdom opened and ignorance ceased to be!"
Ignorance cannot face wisdom, darkness cannot face light, the ego cannot face God.
1998 - 2017
The Song of God - Swami Venkatesananda - enlarged 4th edition – 1984 - published by The Chiltern Yoga Trust, Cape Town, South Africa

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